Jakarta E-Prix 2 – Maximilian Guenther was once again unstoppable in qualifying, to take his second pole of the weekend after once again beating Jake Dennis.
The Nissans of Sacha Fenestraz and Norman Nato were the first to emerge as the day’s qualifying session started, the others tickled out after them aside from the Jaguars who remained in their garage until the others had all started their first timed laps.
Fenestraz started with a 1:08.798 and after everyone had set a time it was Nick Cassidy on top with a 1:08.623 ahead of Jake Dennis and Fenestraz. Being out of sequence to the others meant that the Jaguars had to deal with a bit of traffic on their laps, Mitch Evans slotting into P4 with Sam Bird in P9.
Half way through the session there was a spin for Dan Ticktum at the final corner which turned into a spectacularly smokey recovery as he spun the car back around the right way. The track went silent after that as everyone returned to the pits to prepare for their final runs.
As the cars headed out again, Fenestraz was at the front and would be first to finish while Evans brought up the rear. There wasn’t a disadvantage for either though, both making it through to the duels in P2 and P3 while Dennis took P1 with a 1:08.434. The final progression spot went to McLaren’s Jake Hughes while championship leader, Cassidy, once again took P5 in his group. The Envision racer was on a good lap but locked up and lost time so he didn’t improve.
ABT Cupra’s Nico Mueller was the first out in the second group and opened with a 1:09.211 and after everyone had got a lap in it was a Maserati on top but this time it was Edoasrdo Mortara with a 1:08.602 ahead of the Porsches of Antonio Felix da Costa and Pascal Wehrlein. Stoffel Vandoorne was P4 and it was very close with all of them separated by just 0.053 seconds.
By the four minute mark the track had gone silent and it had gotten even closer at the top, Maximilian Guenther had taken P1 from his teammate with a 1:08.564 while Vandoorne had moved into P3 ahead of the Porsches. The fastest four were within 0.045 seconds and the top five covered by only 0.066 seconds.
Sebastien Buemi was at the head of the pack for the final runs while Mueller brought up the rear. The Maseratis improved and held station at the top, Guenther with a 1:08.416 and Mortara 0.008 seconds slower. The top four weren’t as tight together as earlier in the session, Wehrlein making it to P3, a tenth behind Guenther, while Vandoorne just beat his teammate Jean-Eric Vergne to P4 by 0.001 seconds.
Quarter-finals – Evans vs Fenestraz, Hughes vs Dennis, Wehrlein vs Mortara, Vandoorne vs Guenther
QF1 – There was only 0.002 seconds separating the two in the opening sector, Fenestraz taking that advantage but it wasn’t to last. Evans pulled a slim gap in the middle part before having a much better end to his lap to progress by 0.435.
QF2 – The Great British Jake Off, episode 3. Dennis had a huge advantage in sector one as Hughes went wide at T1 and there was no coming back for the McLaren driver as the Andretti was definitively quicker over the course of the lap to be top Jake for the second time.
QF3 – Less than a tenth in it over the opening third of the lap, Mortara having the better time of it than Wehrlein. He extended slightly over the next sector and they were both similar in at the end but Wehrlein wouldn’t be continuing in the duels today.
QF4 – The final quarter again saw less than a tenth between the two duelists, Maserati once again having the advantage but significantly widened the gap over sector two. Vandoorne wasn’t too far off in the final sector but his 1:08.2 was no match for Guenther’s 1:07.9 as the German continued his great run of speed this weekend.
Semi-finals – Dennis vs Evans, Mortara vs Guenther
SF1 – It was Evans who took the less than a tenth advantage in sector one, the Jaguar was quicker again in sector two but there was nothing in it. The final sector though saw Dennis pull it back and it was an incredible finish with only 0.001 seconds giving the Andretti racer the chance to fight for pole.
SF2 – An all-Maserati battle, but with Mortara having a bit of understeer that didn’t help him in his effort to break his teammate’s dominant run in Jakarta. There wasn’t too much between them over the rest of the lap but it was Guenther who was faster, though he was slightly slower than his quarter-final effort.
Final – Guenther vs Dennis
A repeat of yesterday’s final but would the result be the same? After so many similar opening sectors, Guenther changed that and was 0.176 seconds up and there was no coming back for Dennis as the Maserati driver was unstoppable as he flew to a 1:07.753, over half a second up on Dennis.
Evans will be starting from P3 with Mortara alongside him, reigning champion Vandoorne will be on row three along with yesterday’s winner, Wehrlein. Fenestraz and Hughes will share row four while Guenther’s group, group B, will be in the odd positions so Vergne will be P9 ahead of championship leader Cassidy.